King of drinks

omslag
King of Drinks

Eeuwenlang was de naam Schiedam wereldwijd synoniem voor jenever. In West-Afrika en met name in Ghana en Nigeria is dit nog steeds het geval.

Geen plechtigheid gaat voorbij zonder dat de onvervalste Schiedamse jenever – of schnapps zoals de benaming daar luidt – een rol van betekenis wordt toegekend. Bij het oplossen van geschillen voor inheemse rechtbanken, belangrijke zakelijke transacties, huwelijk, geboorte en dood is het gebruikelijk om aan goden en voorouders een plengoffer jenever te brengen. Ook bij bezoeken aan hooggeplaatste chiefs is het presenteren van jenever een vast ritueel. En hoe belangrijker de gebeurtenis, hoe meer gewicht eraan wordt gehecht dat de fles de echte ‘Holland Schnapps’ of ‘Schiedam’  bevat. Op deze manier is de naam Schiedam innig verbonden geraakt met de West-Afrikaanse cultuur en tradities.

Dmitri van den Bersselaar, docent Afrikaanse geschiedenis aan de Universiteit van Liverpool, maar geboren en getogen Schiedammer verrichtte gedurende enkele jaren een diepgaand onderzoek naar dit fenomeen in vier West-Afrikaanse landen.

Hij schreef hierover een voortreffelijk leesbaar boek dat – vanuit de West-Afrikaanse optiek – een unieke kijk biedt op de recente geschiedenis van de jenever en de manier waarop de naam Schiedam in de Ghanese cultuur voortleeft in de ‘King of Drinks’, zoals de jenever daar wordt gezien.

Titel: King of Drinks

Auteur Dmitri van den Bersselaar

Uitgave Stichting Musis, 2007

Prijs € 10

Dit boek is verkrijgbaar bij de Schiedamse boekhandel Post Scriptum en de Historische Vereniging Schiedam.

 

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